Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Did you know you are more likely to encounter a person in an emotional or mental crises than someone having a heart attack. Mental disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined. Mental Health First Aid is the initial help given to a person showing symptoms of mental illness or in a mental health crises (severe depression, psychosis, panic attach, suicidal thoughts and behaviors) until appropriate professional or other help, including peer and family support, can be engaged. CHADS offers to the community, Youth Mental Health First Aid.

According to the Mental Health First Aid website:
"Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders."

After receiving the training, the adult will be able to offer help to a young person experiencing a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate help is received or until the crises resolves. This is an eight hour course that can be broken down into two four hour sessions or given in one eight hour session. The sessions can be taught at a school, work place or CHADS' office, as long as there is enough seating for your group. The optimal class size is 15-20 participants.

You can:
Contact Marian McCord at or 314.952.2046 to schedule a training. Please contact her at least four weeks in advance to the time would like to schedule.
View the Mental Health First Aid website for further information. 

Programs are funded by St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund for children and families within St. Louis County. Some funding is available to cover programs outside of St. Louis County. For information email